Brex’Quit or a Referendum
It has been over two years since the UK’s referendum on leaving the European Union went through, yet many important questions remain unanswered such as: Will the UK remain in the EU’s customs union? Will it face tariffs on exports? The only near-certainty that the UK Government can provide is that the UK will no longer be a full member of the European Union on the 29th of March 2019.
Over the last two years it has become apparent that most MPs are not in support of another referendum. Whatever the view of an individual MP on Brexit, most see making the case for another vote a difficult proposition to debate. The recent resignation of both David Davis, the Brexit Minister, and Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, only adds further to the confusion and frustration toward the lack of any real progress. The white paper that was published last week received a hostile reception from the pro-Brexit MP’s and is being seen as a further softening of the Government’s stance.
A number of ex party politicians over the weekend voiced their opinions. The ex-Education Minister, Justine Greening, described Theresa May’s proposals as “the worst of both worlds”. The final decision should be given back to the people and out of “deadlocked politicians” hands. She states there are three options: the PM’s deal, staying in the EU or a clean break from Europe with no deal. Ms Greening, who resigned after the cabinet reshuffle in January, said the referendum should offer a first and second preference vote so that a consensus can be reached. Fellow Tory MP Sir Bernard Jenkin, who backed Leave in the referendum, said he agreed with Ms Greening that the PM’s plan was “dead” but described her call for a second vote as “a little ill-thought-out” and “if we wanted to extend the uncertainty for another long period this is one way of doing it,” he said. Mrs May has ruled out a second vote, as has Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, although a number of senior Labour figures are backing the cross-party People’s Vote campaign for a final vote on any exit deal.
When you combine the divisions in Government, oppositions from parliament and the complex nature of the ongoing Brexit negotiations it seems that Prime Minister, Theresa May, faces an impossible task in terms of keeping all sides happy. Her decision to call a general election in 2017, which resulting in her losing the Governments majority only adds to the complex nature of navigating Brexit as well as the chances of a Hard Brexit going through. It’s impossible to predict how markets will react to ongoing Brexit negotiations, however as always we recommend that you remain diversified in your investment holdings and try your best to block out ‘short term noise’.